CFIB applauds feds for shelving anti-spam lawsuits

CASL compliance still a big hurdle for small business; resources available

Toronto, June 7, 2017 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) commends Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains and the federal government for indefinitely suspending implementation of the private right of action provision of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). This provision would have had harmful consequences on small business.

The provision, which had been scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2017, would have allowed consumers or organizations to sue businesses they believed were not complying with anti-spam rules. In addition to suspending implementation, Minister Bains also referred the matter to the Industry Committee, where it could be struck down permanently.

“We asked, and government listened,” said Dan Kelly, president of CFIB. “We are very grateful to Minister Bains for recognizing the impact this provision could have had on limiting innovation and customer relationships for small businesses across Canada, and for not putting Canadian businesses at a competitive disadvantage. This measure will help address some of the red tape headaches the legislation has presented to Canadian small firms.”

CFIB sent a letter to Minister Bains last month urging the government to reconsider the private right of action clause. CASL came into force in 2014, imposing penalties on spammers, but also affecting tens of thousands of legitimate businesses that were using email and other electronic means to stay in touch with customers. The original law has led to a small handful of charges and fines, but also headaches and thousands of dollars in costs for businesses that have had to transform their business processes and systems.

CASL help for small businesses
CFIB is working to help small businesses understand and comply with anti-spam rules. For businesses that want to make sure that their electronic marketing campaigns comply with CASL, CFIB has partnered with Cyberimpact, a Canadian firm which specializes in e-marketing, to give them the resources they need, including:

  • Free CASL compliance webinars will be offered June 20 and 22, 2017.
  • A comprehensive guide to CASL compliance for small business is now available on the CFIB website, outlining specific steps that businesses can take.
  • For those that need a little more help, Cyberimpact also offers email marketing solutions designed for non-marketers that are simple, low-risk, and exclusively priced for CFIB member businesses.

“Despite the suspension of the private right of action, small businesses still need to comply with CASL, and we hope this change will serve as a reminder,” said Jean-Francis Lalonde, president of Cyberimpact. “Very few small businesses understand the law or what it means for them. They are still subject to huge fines for simply communicating with their customers. We are happy to partner with CFIB to help small businesses that want to better protect themselves.”

Go to CFIB.ca to find out more about upcoming CASL webinars or to learn how Cyberimpact can help your firm deliver effective campaigns that comply with CASL.

To arrange an interview with Dan Kelly, please contact Kiara Morrissey at 416-222-8022, 647-464-2814 or public.affairs@cfib.ca.

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.

 

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